Evan Jager spoiled American track and field fans with his national record at the Paris Diamond League meeting and the bar was set too high for others to match on a chilly night in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Emma Coburn reverted back to her previous tactics of racing from the front after a little test chasing at the U.S.A. Track and Field Outdoor Championships. The conditions were not ideal and Coburn said she had no response left in her legs with 200 meters remaining.
“I didn’t set out for this meet to be an American record attempt,” Coburn said. “I’ve still got Monaco. Beijing will be fast and there’s also Brussels.”
Time is on Coburn’s side, who oddly enough could still miss her personal best and set an American record because of the mishap that failed to ratify her 9:11.42 and a gap between Jenny Simpson’s 9:12.50. Coburn finished third in 9:20.67 behind two Africans that will certainly be in the medal conversation come world championships.
While viewers at home thought tonight would be the night that Jenny Simpson sets a new American record in the 1,500-meter run, she’s got a much different focus in 2015. Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs are of the traditional approach where over-distance and under-distance racing will ultimately help succeed an athlete’s specialty, but Simpson approached her coach in 2014 asking to run as many 1,500-meter races as possible. She really wants to master the distance.
In 2014, Simpson ran 3:57.22 in Paris to become the second fastest American woman of all-time. She feels more fit and ready to go faster than that, but there is no real race to dub an “American record chase.” In the right race, the time will come.
Lausanne was her fifth 1,500-meter race of the year and a step in the right direction. She will race another in Monaco and then return to Boulder for training ahead of the World Championships.
Moments after the media was done with interviews and Simpson finished putting on her warm clothes, she called out to Siffan Hassan to congratulate her on her performance in the race. Hassan had beaten Simpson for the first time in over a year. The two have a history and it’s one that will definitely be among those to watch in Beijing. Simpson’s 4:03.54 is nothing to worry about. 2015 is the year to chase victories.